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Cheshire’s part in the history of the Beatles, Civil War, Vikings and witches are among the subjects free walking tours and talks will bring to light this spring.

Walking through Chester in the footsteps of the Beatles and patrolling the city’s hidden ramparts to discover its Civil War story are just some of the free events organised by University staff and students as part of a national celebration of history.

Historians from the University of Chester will lead a series of walking tours and online talks throughout May and June 2022, uncovering ‘Hidden Histories at Chester’.

They have been planned by the Department of History and Archaeology to mark the Institute of Historical Research’s ‘Our Century’ programme - a 12-month exploration, celebration and reappraisal of history’s past, present and future.

People can delve into Cheshire’s history with walking tours on:

  • May 10, from 2pm to 4pm, with Dr Donna Jackson and Jackie Spencer: ‘Walking in the Footsteps of the Beatles: Uncovering the Hidden History of Chester in the Swinging Sixties’;
  • May 18, from 1pm to 2pm, with Dr Tim Grady: ‘Uncovering Chester’s Hidden Dead of the World Wars’;
  • May 18, from 1pm to 2.30pm, with Professor Peter Gaunt: ‘Uncovering the Post-Restoration ‘Urban Renaissance’ in Chester’;
  • May 25, from 2pm to 4pm, with Dr Sam Chadwick: ‘Patrolling the Hidden Ramparts - the Hidden History of Chester's Civil War’;
  • June 27, from 10am to midday with Dr Tom Pickles: ‘Uncovering Chester’s Viking Past’, and,
  • June 27, from 1pm to 3pm with Dr Katherine Wilson: ‘Uncovering an International City: Chester in the Middle Ages’.

Online talks will offer new perspectives on:

  • May 31, from 7pm to 8pm, with Dr David Harry discussing: ‘The Forgotten Histories of Cheshire’s Witches’;
  • June 7, from 7pm to 8pm, with Dr Morn Capper exploring: ‘The Hidden History of Women in Power: Conversations with Aethelflaed, Leader of the Mercians, Queen, Carer, Coniunx’, and,
  • June 14, from 7pm to 8pm, with Dr Rebecca Andrew: ‘Uncovering Change in Port Sunlight’s Historic Landscape’.

Dr Rebecca Andrew, Senior Lecturer in History and Programme Leader for MA History and MA War, Conflict and Society at the University of Chester said: “We’re excited to share our series of free events and be a part of the Institute of Historical Research’s ‘Our Century’ celebrations.

“There’s a wide range of subjects to choose from, aiming to uncover little-known elements of Cheshire and the surrounding area’s history, whether marginalised voices, under-represented histories, or challenging existing ideas.

“We really look forward to exploring untold parts of the past with everyone joining us for the tours and talks this May and June.”

All the events are free but places on the walking tours are limited; people are asked to please register in advance. Further information and registration links are available at:

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